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Friday – 22 Oct 2010

Friday – 22 Oct 2010


[smartads] Hey today I got up.  Oh, and it said 0812 on the clock.  I’m going to have to make something happen today because I’ve got next to nothing to write about.  It’s still early 10:07, so something interesting still has a chance to happen.

Time is running out for things to happen.  I’m going to have to improvise today, unless more things happen then I wrote down today and I don’t think of them until I start typing.  I think to improvise I’m going to have extra pictures and since I have some advice that I need to give Jaclyn before she comes over here, I’ll just do that here too.  Instead of sending it to her in an e-mail and wasting all that information, maybe it’ll be something that someone out there wanted to know, or will want to know later.

Gun slinger pose

Even some adults use the gun slinger pose

First of all lets talk about the few things that did happen today that I have written down.

I believe I have fixed the problem with my other blog.  Now if you click on it on this blog, it should bring you right to it.  I was told by 2 people (Don & Winda) that they were having problems, so I looked into it and it should be fixed.  Also Don told me that when he searched in Google to find that new site, it wasn’t there.  I looked, and sure enough, it’s not there.  But if you use Yahoo search instead, it’s the ONLY thing that comes up.  I’ve double checked both of them a couple of times because that seems weird to me.

Gun slinger pose

Another gun slinger pose

I’ve found other places to advertise this site.  I now have accounts on Squidoo, Digg, Reddit and HubPages.  I’ve heard of Digg and Reddit, just never used them.  I’ve never heard of the other 2 until today.  Not sure how much it’s going to help, but I’ll take all the little help I can get.  I also found about some places that will exactly help place advertisements on your site so you can start earning money.  I’m going to try those too, to see what happens.  There was some great suggestions on finding directories and forums to help with the blog site too.  Plus some “blog communities” that you can join.  I hope something in there somewhere will start earning me some money on this blog.  Evidently, AdSense is not interested in this blog, so I’ll have to go elsewhere.  I’m going to check out every web site that I found that may be able to help me.

Today is Crystal Princess’s 6th birthday.  She had a nice little party with a few friends, lots of cousins and lots of grown ups too.  I got a few pictures at the party, including the birthday girl.  Children birthday parties in the Philippines or even with Filipinos in the States, in my experience, is so much different than the traditional birthday party.  With the Filipinos, it’s like a regular party with the birthday part kind of a side thing.  I mean there is still a cake and presents, usually the children are in another room playing while the adults eat and catch up.  I guess what I’m trying to explain is that it’s just as much a party for the adults as it is for the children.  Cathy didn’t have enough money to buy cake and ice cream, in fact she didn’t even think about it.  They are not use to that really.  I guess the bottom line is that the birthday girl had a good time and got some type of present.  I’m not even sure about that, but I’ll make sure she gets something.

Okay, that’s what I’ve got for today.  Time for my improvising to begin.

Inside the Pepsi Warehouse

Inside the Pepsi Warehouse

Jaclyn noticed a strange pose that one of the guys had on yesterday’s post.  I told her that that was a common pose around here.  The one when the turn their finger into a gun.  I’ve come up with at least 7 pictures that had that pose in it, 8 if you count the one Jaclyn saw.  I’m going to be posting all those pictures today in addition to the other pictures.  Some of the ones I’ll be posting with ‘the pose’ have already been published, but it’s not going to hurt so you can see them all.  Also in this post I’m going to be telling Jaclyn some of the things good and bad that she can expect when she visits here.  I’m not really going to be trying to influence her decision to come here, but that’s probably just exactly what I’ll be doing.  I just don’t want her to have so many surprises when she arrives here.  There are still going to be some things, that I’ll probably forget to tell her, but I hope to lessen the impact or maybe it will be too much for her and she’ll change her mind.  I hope not, but I don’t know, but let’s find out.

Store #6

These guys were leaving the cock fighting arena.

Okay Jaclyn, and everyone else, I’ve already told you about the biggest thing, since you are such a sensitive person, crying so much during that movie Sweet November when I didn’t see anything to even to sad about, and that’s the poverty.  You see it on TV and you hear about it from other people, but when it’s staring you in the face, it’s going to shock you, Matt you too.  No one is immune from it, unless you are just heartless, and I know neither of y’all are.  Also people, especially the children are going to be staring at you, just because you are white.  If you’re big, like me, that just adds to the curiosity.  It doesn’t happen that much in the bigger cities, but in the smaller towns and especially down in the provinces, it will happen.

The traffic is going to shock you too.  There is so much traffic compacted into one area that you wonder why they don’t have accidents by the dozen every day.  Buses, truck, cars, motorcycles, motors, tricycles, bicycles and pedestrians all trying to get to the same place at the same time.  Sometimes it’s a big mess, but somehow it usually works out.  There are lines in the middle of the road, just like in the States, but that line means nothing to the average driver here.  At least they don’t abide by it.  Downtown on 2 lane roads, there will be 3 lines of cars, plus cars parked on either side of the road, even double parked in many places.  You’ll hear lots and lots of horns blowing.  It’s how the drivers draw attention to themselves to warn others to watch out.   At least they drive on the same side of the road as in the States, unlike in Japan, or that be something else you’d have to adjust to.

People falling over to get their picture taken.

These 2, especially the shorter one, didn't want their picture taken at first.

Daddy Dewdrop is singing Chick A Boom.  Chick A Boom, Chick A Boom don’t you just love it.

The restaurants will be something to adjust to also, especially in the smaller towns.  Don’t expect to find too many McDonald’s or any fast food restaurant you are use to seeing.  In the larger cities/towns and even some of the medium size towns, you can find them.  In the smaller town, which is about all we have around here where we live, there are none.  The only thing we have is JolliBee’s and Chow King really.  Now if you can eat there, you’ll be fine.  You know I don’t eat seafood of any kind, so I don’t eat there much.  Although JolliBee’s is like McDonald’s, even more popular than Mikey D’s here.  The McDonald’s you do find here in the Philippines serve rice and spaghetti.  I don’t eat out much, that is why I am losing so much weight.  When I do eat out, it’s at Chow King and I always eat the same thing, orange chicken.  Don’t go by me though.  At least try some things, judge for yourself.  Better bring some of your favorite treats, just in case though.

In Bagacay.  You know we live in a 1 bedroom, 1 bath house.  You told me that you will bring an air mattress to sleep on.  That’s fine, but it’ll get hot in the other room.  The fan won’t help much.  What we want to do is, as is the Filipino custom, is to let you use our bed, and we’ll sleep in the computer room on the floor on the air mattress.  The rooms are right next to each other with no door, so no nude sleeping.  That’s the best we’ll be able to do for you here, unless you want to stay in a hotel.  Also I must tell you that we do not have hot water in our house.  The water is cold, but not really as cold as it is in the States, except early in the morning and late at night.  In fact if you take a shower (no bathtub) during the day, the water may be a little warm.  We have no oven, not even a regular stove.  All we have to cook on inside is a propane hot plate.  We do have the dirty kitchen outside that you can use kind of like a small stove.  Still no oven.  There are lots of bata here.  They make noise early in the morning, so don’t expect to sleep in too much unless you are a heavy sleeper.  Also during the day, a lot of activity goes on here preparing for the BBQ that evening.  Of course you will only be in Bagacay for maybe 2 nights, so maybe you can put up with all that for that long.  If you decide you’d rather stay in a hotel, then I can check on prices and make sure they have hot water, if you want.  I know the hotel across the street will be open and they probably will have hot water.  I also hear that their rate there is P4000 per night (rumor from a good source), and that is about $93 per night.  If you don’t mind doing that for 2 nights, that could be an option.  Hey we would understand if you want to, it’s a vacation, you need to enjoy yourself, not suffer.

When we go to Tambis for 1, maybe 2, nights, we won’t have any choice.  You would have your own room there with a fan, and it’s not so bad.  Aunt Lita and I survive there for that short a time with no problem.  I’d never be able to live there like that though.  I don’t like the showers there though or the CR either, but it’s an adventure and it’s where Aunt Lita grew up, so I figure you’d want to at least see it.  I’ll see what I can do about making it only 2 days and 1 night.  We still have to go to Korea to, right?  Right?  If the hotel in Korea is as it was before or better, than we should be okay there.  Can’t remember if they had hot water there or not though.  There were several hotels right outside the gate of Osan Air Base though.  We’ll be sure to eat on base to get food you are use to.  That’s where we’ll do the shopping for your purses too.

Okay, that’s it.  I probably forgot something.  If you, or anyone else on here, have any questions, ask away.  I hope this doesn’t change your mind about visiting.  Let me know what you decide.

Tagalog word of the day:  bakasyon  (baw-kaw-she-on)  means vacation.  ( I didn’t verify pronunciation with a person so, Winda am I right?)

Philippine Trivia

37. The word Filipinas first appeared in coins.

38. Archipelago de San Lazarus was the name Ferdinand Magellan first gave to the islands he “discovered.”

39. Alphabetically, the first province of the Philippines which comes first is Abra in the Ilocos region.

40. The largest Philippine wild animal is the tamaraw (a species of buffalo, similar to the carabao). It is found only in the island of Mindoro.

41. Rio Grande de Mindanao is the longest river in Mindanao.

42. The first line of Jose Rizal’s Mi Ultimo Adios is Adios patria adorada.

43. Luzon is the biggest island (141,395 sq km) among the Philippine Archipelago which consists of 7,107 (most figures) islands and islets stretching some 1,850 kilometers from north to south and 1,107 kilometers from west to east at its widest point.

44. Mt. Apo in Mindanao, a dormant volcano, is the highest mountain in the Philippines at 2,954 meters (9,689 feet). Mt. Pulog in Luzon is second at 2,928 meters (9,604 feet).

45. Cagayan River in Luzon is the longest river, snaking for 353 kilometers (221 miles) across the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Cagayan before finally flowing into the South China Sea in Aparri in Cagayan.

The birthday girl, looking every bit the Princess.

This is Crystal birthday feast

Turned out to be the longest post ever, 2130 words, without the pictures, 2262 with the pictures.  Hope it helps someone, especially Jaclyn.

Salamat, Palaam


  1. I don’t mind the lil lizards but omg I can’t handle the spider thing. Matt wouldn’t be able to handle either one. He is so scared of the lil lizards here b/c he was tramatized as a lil kid b/c on latched onto his finger and he had trouble getting it off. He freaks out if he sees them…lol

    • Well there is NO WAY of getting around seeing the geckos here. They are everywhere. I don’t mean they are crawling everywhere, but you will, for sure, see quite a few while here. They are a big part of controlling the bugs here.

  2. UJ how far is the hotel from you? The one that Wayne suggested? Hot water would be awesome… but dont want to be too far away from you and Aunt Lita.

    • I’m guessing about 3 or 4 miles, max. I’m sure they’d have multi-cabs (like taxis) right outside that would be able to take you here anytime you wanted. Of course we can come get you anytime too and the motors are also available.

  3. Don’t want to put dampner on your nieces vacation. But you forgot to mention the house spiders which are 2 to 3 inch in diameter which the kids like to catch and play with, unless you haven’t run across them yet? Also the lizards running around at night trying to catch bugs and dropping on you while trying to sleep. These was some of the things I ran into when staying with my wifes sister before we built our house. Wife would not go to CR at night unless she woke me up to go with her to make sure nothing was in there with her. I tell her she is to americanized now.

    • Got this comment last of all the ones last night, but felt compelled to answer it first. I haven’t seen any of those spiders, in the house, and very few of them outside. I doubt the kids around here would play with them anyway, at least 1/2 of them would be scared of them. The lizards that catch the bugs, geckos, I’ve never had one fall on me before, never even seen one fall on anyone. Not only have I been around geckos here, but my 6 years I spent in Okinawa also. Geckos are your friends, they help control the bug population. Just get use to their little song and they have never been a problem for us.

  4. John i think some of the things you talk about will be very interesting for
    Jaclyn and her family,like the traffic,shopping in a crowed,no hot water
    and other things you don’t see in the USA,but seeing the really poor people
    the children is very hard to see as you said.I took my daughter to the Philippines,she enjoyed it and made her realize how lucky we are in USA,
    it will be a great time for all.And as poor as people are you will never meet
    any as happy. If they would like to stay in a hotel,I can recommend the
    Marjori kristal hotel it is a little way out of town toward the airport on the left side of the road.Two years ago it was 800 peso for aircon room with
    hot water cable tv,big swimming pool and really good food best in town.It
    is a ten minuite motor trike ride to chow king,real nice room some cheaper also.

    • I forgot to mention about how crowded it can get shopping. Jaclyn some places that you shop it can get so crowded. Sometimes I just find a corner and stand there to be out of the way. I don’t like crowds much. Oh Jaclyn’s going to cry when she sees the poor people. She says she is preparing herself, but you just can’t prepare yourself for something like that really. You see those people on TV that want you to sponsor a child, well you’ll see a lot of those children, except these will probably have a smile on their face. Unless of course they have their hand out for a peso, then their lip will be down at the bottom of their chin. I’ll wait and see what they decide on the hotel thing before I look into it, but that sounds pretty decent, @ 800 ($18-$19).

  5. Hey UJ,
    HAHA OMG you brought up me crying watching Sweet November…lol I remember that. You came out and was worried asking what was wrong with me and I couldn’t even talk for a min b/c I was crying so hard…lol.
    I think we can survive with all that…lol. Matt only takes luke warm showers anyway. I love taking hot hot showers but if it’s hot weather there then I’m just it will be nice to take a warm shower.
    Yah I will be bringing goodies but I will try some of the different things there but idk how much b/c I’m picky
    LOL ok no nude sleeping..haha and no you do not need to give up your bed. We will be just fine on the air mattress. I will run this all by Matt and see what he wants to do, either your casa or the hotel. But no matter what we still plan to come.
    Thank you for all the extra info. Very helpful and nice to know the pros and cons.

    • Okay. I’ll try to think of more things to let you know, and everybody know. And to me there wasn’t even anything sad about the movie, that was the strangest part. There are much cheaper hotels in Calbayog, it’s true, but they are all minimum a mile away. Which is not really a problem, we’d just have to come pick you up everyday, but since it’d just be for 2 days, we could survive if you can. I’ll talk Aunt Lita into getting another one of the ‘good’ fans before you arrive, I don’t want anyone getting too hot, if you decide to stay here. We need another ‘good’ fan anyway.

Texan in the Philippines